SITT 2007 lineup offers 'discovery, illumination, creativity and humor'

Mid-July is usually pretty quiet on campus, but 26 Wellman Hall promises to be an exception from July 16 to 20. That's when the Summer Institute on Teaching and Technology returns with seminars, demonstrations and workshops designed to give UC Davis instructors fresh ideas on great teaching.

About 100 instructors are expected for a lineup that will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Friday, when SITT will end at noon. The sessions are organized to stimulate learning and discussion on five main topics: SmartSite; writing; student-centered teaching; group work and engagement in the classroom; and research on teaching and learning.

"This year SITT features new presenters, new participants, new topics, new technology tools, and new energy," says SITT coordinator Andy Jones in a program description. "The program builds on what's gone before, but adds a host of new twists and turns.

"We hope," he added, "to emphasize discovery, illumination, creativity, and humor."

SmartSite, the new online course-management system, has attracted more than 8,600 campus users so far. It has operated as a pilot program since early 2006, but this fall it becomes a widespread UC Davis system. All faculty will be able to create SmartSite sites for their courses; the sites will be automatically populated with their students' names.

Other sessions include two panel discussions that look at student perspectives on teaching; using wikis and clickers for group work; and hearing Chicano Studies Lecturer Javier Ortiz talk about three approaches to engaging students in the classroom.

And there's a lot more than that, ranging from short videos on Web 2.0 animation to teaching with images and "Ask Dr. Leslie" sessions about blogs, personalized learning trails, and information tracking and trapping.

Lunches are included, except on Friday.

Find a complete schedule and registration information at the SITT site; read about last year's SITT here. Sessions will meet in Wellman and other campus locations. Send any questions to Jones at